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#54638 - 02/01/19 06:17 AM Best Time for Mountaineer's Route on Good Snow
Hoot Offline


Registered: 02/01/19
Posts: 2
Loc: Ohio
Hi. I'm trying to make a best guess for a good week this spring to climb the Mountaineer's Route with consolidated snow on the upper sections. Most of my snow climbing has been in Colorado where May is usually the best month. But in dry years late April can be good and in snowy years early June is good. I'm hearing this is a good snow year on Whitney so far.

I understand there are no guarantees for conditions a few months out, but what time frame would those of you familiar with spring conditions on Whitney recommend for a good target week for climbing the Mountaineer's Route on good snow?

Hoot

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#54639 - 02/01/19 08:11 AM Re: Best Time for Mountaineer's Route on Good Snow [Re: Hoot]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7712
Loc: Fresno, CA
I'm thinking mid to late April. Beginning in May, the permit quota is in place so you have to worry about getting one. Before that, they are available to anyone on a walk-in basis.

But pretty much any time in April should give you a good consolidated snow base to climb on.

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#54640 - 02/01/19 09:55 AM Re: Best Time for Mountaineer's Route on Good Snow [Re: Steve C]
dbd Offline


Registered: 11/09/09
Posts: 212
Loc: San Diego
Originally Posted By: Steve C

...
But pretty much any time in April should give you a good consolidated snow base to climb on.


That's true barring recent snow fall.

The Eastern Sierra Avalanche Center provides daily reports on an area centered around Mammoth up to March 31. It's not ideal, but it might be worth looking at their summary of snowpack conditions as the time of your your visit approaches.

esavalanche.org

Dale B. Dalrymple

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#54641 - 02/01/19 10:03 AM Re: Best Time for Mountaineer's Route on Good Snow [Re: Hoot]
bobpickering Offline


Registered: 02/07/10
Posts: 372
Loc: Reno, Nevada
If you could just waltz in and get a permit whenever the conditions/weather were perfect, May would probably be better. Considering the permit issues, Steveís advice is spot on. Iíve been up three times in April, but only once in May. Iím thinking about another trip this April.

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#54643 - 02/01/19 01:40 PM Re: Best Time for Mountaineer's Route on Good Snow [Re: Hoot]
Hoot Offline


Registered: 02/01/19
Posts: 2
Loc: Ohio
Thanks all for the useful info. I'll probably put in for mid-week in early May and if that fails see if I can sneak in near the end of April. Thanks also for the ESAC link (I use Colorado's CAIC frequently). I didn't have any luck looking for a SnoTel station near Whitney but this forum seems like a great source for Whitney info.

Hoot

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#54646 - 02/02/19 08:17 PM Re: Best Time for Mountaineer's Route on Good Snow [Re: Hoot]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7712
Loc: Fresno, CA
The few snow level stations are on the west side of Whitney. Here's a good CDEC page.
...Or the CWD (Cottonwood Lakes) station just south of Whitney.

If you go early in May, even if the lottery shows full, (because many people select May 1 just because it's the earliest in the year -- but they never show up!) you can walk in and pick up a no-show permit. Just look at the Unused Permits numbers, and forget paying the $$ for the lottery. Walk-ins are free.

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